Hidilyn Diaz winning the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, Japan, proves that Filipinos can rise above the worst of times, Monico Puentevella, Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president, said Tuesday, July 27.
“It is an inspiring story of a Pinay from humble beginnings who has overcome poverty and misery through hard work, faith in God and oneself,” said Puentevella, former Bacolod mayor and congressman.
Diaz edged out world champion Liao Qiuyun of China in the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition to win the gold.
Puentevella, who is at the Tokyo Olympics with Diaz, said he hopes her winning the gold inspires young children to conquer their own inadequacies and believe that Filipinos can rise up to the occasion.
“After 17 years, I too have realized my own dream and am ready to call it a day,” he said of his work in sports.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said the victory of Diaz should be “an inspiration to future athletes that we Filipinos can compete against the world’s best”.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said “together with the officials and the people of Bacolod, we join the rest of the nation in congratulating Hidilyn Diaz for her historic feat in the Tokyo Olympics.”
Her Olympic gold medal makes us happy and proud, he said.
Rayfrando Diaz, Negros Occidental provincial administrator, said with the success of Diaz “we hope to build more careers in weightlifting”.
When Puentevella comes back from the Olympics maybe we can start our weightlifting program in Negros Occidental, he said.
He said Puentevella had earlier delivered state of the art weights to the province of Negros Occidental that are at the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
“We share the happiness of the whole country on Diaz winning the first Olympic gold for the country,” the provincial administrator said.*